GAMBLING'S THE NUMBER 1 CANADIAN ENTERTAINMENT Canadian Gaming Association claims gambling is "Canada's largest and most financially significant entertainment industry." Gambling is Canadian's favourite entertainment, according to a report by the Canadian Gaming Association released this week which claims that the pastime is: "Canada's largest and most financially significant entertainment industry."  It accounts for 267 000 full-time jobs and contributes Cdn$15.3-billion a year to the economy. The industry group's latest report is based on 2006 data and reveals that 57 percent of gambling revenue — Cdn$8.7-billion — supports government services and charities. The other $6.6-billion “…was spent to sustain operations, paid out as salaries, and used to purchase goods and services.” Canadian Press says that the gaming association's research, described as the most comprehensive study ever conducted on the economic impact of gaming in Canada, found 135 000 people are directly employed in the industry, and indirect gambling-related employment such as food and entertainment services swells the total to 267 000 full-time jobs. For 2006, this translated into Cdn$11.6-billion in labour income, the association says. “Gaming has grown significantly over the past decade to become an essential pillar of the entertainment industry in Canada,” association president Bill Rutsey said. “It is now demonstrably clear how the majority of spending in the industry goes directly back to Canadians in the form of paycheques, construction in communities, and revenues for the programs and services and charities that we value.”

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